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“Babe, you awake?”
“You’re awake aren’t you?” I glance at my watch. 11:30pm. We’d gone to bed at 10:00pm but I knew she was awake. I could just sense her laying there, facing away from me, eyes open, staring at the wall.
“Babe, what’s wrong?” Something was wrong. I knew it. I sensed it. Only the next day did I find out her growing anxiety and feeling of unease after an argument with her sister earlier that evening.
You’ve no doubt experienced this same phenomenon of lying in bed next to your lover. It is night, the room is dark and your backs are to each other, yet you sense deep inside that something is wrong. You can’t quite put your finger on why you know something is wrong…you just know. Later, you find out that they too were lying with their back to you, eyes wide open, something wrong indeed. Perhaps you, like me, have piped up and asked, “Is everything OK?”.
The response is often a firm no, leading to an argument, an altercation, or an intense discussion to find out why such negative energy was in the bedroom, leading to a downward spiral of more so-called “negative energy” (which you’ll discover later in this article is an actual physical phenomenon).
Or imagine a similar scenario: the incident of interacting with an “energy vampire” – that person who simply seems to emanate some kind of negative energy that you can’t quite put your finger on, but that you can feel inside – an energy that disturbs you or makes you too seem negative, down, or angry. On the flipside, you may occasionally walk into a room where the energy is so intense and positive that you can’t help but smile.
How does this all work exactly? How can you feel your partner without them saying anything? How can you sense the negative or positive energy emanating from someone? And what does this have to do with using your mind to heal your body?
In this article, you’re going to take a journey into the invisible, surprising connection between your mind, your emotions, your beliefs and your biology. By the end of this article, you will be fully equipped to understand and explain the powerful link between invisible emotions and energies and visible, tangible changes to a living being’s physiology and biology. You will know how to use emotions, thoughts and beliefs to change not only your own health and body but the health and bodies of those around you. This entire article will set you up to be far more aware of concepts often considered “woo-woo” in our modern scientific era, and better able to understand many other spiritual, invisible concepts, including ideas such as the power of gratitude, sound frequencies for healing, and the anti-aging effects of relationships and love. Let’s do this.
The Biology Of Your Beliefs
Stem cell biologist and author Bruce Lipton, PhD, often shares a quote from Albert Einstein:
“The field is the sole governing agency of the particle”.
Dr. Lipton – who wrote the book “The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles” – claims that if we can prove that our thoughts can create that “field” and if the field is what actually controls and governs the “particle” (physical matter, our bodies and the world around us), then what Einstein was actually saying was that our thoughts and intent can directly create the world that we live in. In 1982, he began examining the principles of quantum physics and how they might be integrated into an understanding of the cell’s information processing systems. He proceeded to produce breakthrough studies on the cell membrane, which revealed that this outer layer of the cell was an organic homologue of a computer chip: the cell’s equivalent of a brain. His research at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, went on to reveal that the environment, operating through the electrochemical gradient across the cellular membrane, can control the behavior and physiology of the cell, and even turn genes on and off.
Lipton teaches that if you have a belief, then the function of the mind is to manifest that belief so it becomes reality. For example, if you have a belief that you’re going to get a cold because you were around a friend with the sniffles, then the function of the mind is to convert that belief – along with all the anxiety and worry about getting sick and missing a work day or trip to the beach – into physical manifestation, and voila – the next day you wake up with a cold. If you have a strong emotion, positive or negative around a certain belief, it can cause that particular belief to become your physical reality. According to Lipton, the science of epigenetics is not the science of being defined by your genes or environment but is instead the science of understanding how your interpretation of your life events and environment affects the cells of your physical body.
Seem like a stretch? Maybe not so much a stretch as you would think. See, there is a new scientific awareness of Dr. Lipton’s work – an awareness very much related to the genome project, genetic engineering and the infatuation with DNA that seems to be currently capturing all the media’s and health world’s attention. But to understand this awareness we must begin with an understanding of how our entire biological lives are driven and managed by proteins, the molecular building blocks of our bodies.
There are over 150,000 different proteins that make up your body. Each protein is a long, linear molecule of amino acids linked end-to-end, and each molecule is like a tiny spine in which the amino acid molecules are miniature vertebrae. There are twenty different amino acids and each has a unique shape. The final shape of each protein’s “spine” is determined by the specific sequence of each of these uniquely-shaped amino acid links. Ultimately, this means that every cell in your body is built from an assembly of thousands of different-shaped protein molecules.
The novelty of these proteins is that they can change their shape. As a matter of fact, the movement of the protein tiny spine is analogous to the movement of a human spine. In your own spine, each of the jointed segments can rotate and flex at the point at which they are coupled. On the human spine, it is skeletal muscles that cause this movement. But on the protein spine, movement and shape configuration changes are the result of a repulsive or attractive force generated by electromagnetic fields.
As a protein’s electric charge or field is altered, that protein adjusts the shape of its spine to accommodate these forces. When it changes shape from one configuration to another, the protein molecule moves, along with the movement of all the other protein molecules surrounding it, cooperating in functional assemblies called pathways. Respiratory pathways, digestive pathways, and muscle contraction pathways are all examples of assemblies of proteins whose coordinated movements produce very specific biological functions.
Studies have now shown that this change in the shape of proteins can actually change the expression of our genetics. Since proteins are altered by electromagnetic fields, including fields generated by thoughts, feelings and emotions, then this means that genes can be turned on and off by those same fields. That’s right: you can control gene activity by focusing on your beliefs. These beliefs, true or false, positive or negative, creative or destructive, exist not only in your minds, but instead influence the very cells of your body. This also means that DNA does not by itself control your biology, and that information can be transmitted throughout your body, to other people’s bodies, and even to your descendants in ways other than through the base sequence of DNA. It means that thoughts, emotions, and energy can activate or inhibit a cell’s function-producing proteins, that harnessing the power of your mind can be just as effective or more effective than pharmaceuticals, supplements and biohacks and that your perception of your environment is significantly responsible for your health and biological function.
What we think, feel, and say, who we are around, and everything in our environment has a significant influence on who we are and how we function, even down to the details of how our genes are expressed.
Has This Stuff Been Researched?
So is it true that a sunny outlook mean fewer colds and less heart disease, hope can somehow protect against hypertension, diabetes, and respiratory tract infections and happier people live longer?
It turns out that research on the biology of emotion – and what it may teach us about helping people to live longer – has been studied at prestigious institutions such as Harvard. Laura Kubzansky of the Harvard School of Public Health is at the forefront of such research. In a 2007 study that followed more than 6,000 men and women aged 25 to 74 for 20 years, she found that emotional vitality (a sense of enthusiasm, hopefulness, engagement in life, and ability to face life’s stresses with emotional balance) significantly reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, even when accounting for healthy behaviors such as not smoking and regular exercise.
A vast amount of additional scientific literature details how negative emotions harm the body, and how sustained stress or fear can alter biology in a way that, over time, adds up to “wear and tear” and, eventually, illnesses including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. For example, chronic anger and anxiety have been proven to disrupt cardiac function by changing the heart’s electrical stability, hastening atherosclerosis, and increasing systemic inflammation.
Even the sustained activation of the body’s stress response system resulting from early life experiences such as neglect, violence, or living alone with a parent suffering severe mental illness has harmful effects on the brain and other organ systems. But additional research has shown that certain personality traits help people avoid or healthfully manage diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and depression, including emotional vitality (a sense of enthusiasm, hopefulness and engagement), optimism (a perspective that good things will happen, and that one’s actions account for the good things that occur in life), supportive networks of family and friends, and bouncing back from stressful challenges and knowing that things will eventually look up again.
Among dozens of published papers, Kubzansky has shown that children who are able to stay focused on a task and have a more positive outlook at age 7 report better general health and fewer illnesses as much as 30 years later! She has also found that optimism cuts the risk of heart disease in half.
Some public health professionals have contended that the beneficial effects of positive emotions do not stem from anything intrinsically protective in positive mind states, but rather that positive emotions indicate an absence of negative moods and self-destructive habits. But Kubzansky and others disagree: they believe that there is more to the phenomenon and that scientists are only beginning to glean the possible biological, behavioral, and cognitive mechanisms.
Drawing on data from a nationally representative study of older adults, Kubzansky is now mapping what she calls “the social distribution of well-being.” She is working with information collected on participants’ sense of meaning and purpose, life satisfaction, and positive mood, then tracking how these measures manifest across demographic categories such as race and ethnicity, education, income and gender so that she can show how social environments can confer better frame of mind and thus better physical health.
How To “Quantify” Your Energy
So can these electrical fields that reflect our emotions be measured?
Historically human brain waves and electrical activity have been measured with an electroencephalogram (EEG) which involves connecting wires and flat metal disks (electrodes) to the scalp of the person being studied. But in more recent times, scientists have also been able to use a magnetoencephalogram (MEG), which maps the same brain activity without the need to connect anything physically to the head. Via these MEG measurements, scientists have realized that the electrical currents occurring naturally in the brain can be read in the magnetic “field” outside of the actual body. (insert sidebar on HRV and how these fields can be measured yourself too)
Now, I realize the idea that you can read your brain’s field (and any other electrical field produced by your body) outside of the body may sound far-fetched, but stick with me here. See, your brain is comprised of a network of nerve cells, each of which interacts with each other to generate an electrical field. It is well-known and accepted in the medical industry that this electric field is detectable with standard medical equipment. Your brain waves are simply the reflection of the multitude of electrical states being formed by your nervous system.
Not only your brain, but your entire body has an electric field (there’s actually a very good book about the entire electrical network within your body entitled “The Body Electric”, by Robert O. Becker). This means that anywhere there’s a cell, there’s electricity. When you’ve felt a shock of static electricity or used a touch-sensitive smartphone screen, you’ve proven that you have an electric field. However, since the bulk of your nerve cells are concentrated around your head, that’s where this field tends to be highest.
The measurable changes in the brain’s electric field reflect your actual thoughts. That’s right: as you read this article, the thoughts you are thinking and the words I’ve written that your mind is processing are all electrical impulses that can easily be measured. This means that thoughts are electrical energy, governed by the rules of quantum mechanics and the same wave equations you may have studied in high school or college physics. All the rules about quantum mechanics (particle-wave duality, the uncertainty principle, entanglement, etc.) that describe how an electron or photon behave apply to not just your biology, but your thoughts as well. This implies that, like any other set of particles or source of energy, you’re technically influenced by everything you’ve ever encountered that generates electricity or contains an electrical field, including the environment around you and the rest of the universe.
Of course, the difference between you and a photon is that you can think because you are conscious. Because of this, you have the freedom to choose which thought patterns are going to affect your overall electromagnetic field. Indeed, one of my favorite quotes is by Viktor E. Frankl in his book “Man's Search for Meaning”, in which he says:
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
But more than that, since we are entangled with our environment, we can also affect our environment and those around us as well. In other words, since you are a conscious being, you can choose what part of the randomness around you to be affected by, and how you, in turn, would like to affect it. The higher the frequency of your thoughts and brain waves (much more on frequency later in this article!), the higher your state of consciousness.
One proof of concept study related to this concept of your thoughts and electrical field not only affecting you but also others around you is entitled “Heart-Brain Synchronization between Mother and Baby “. This study explored the potential to measure energetic heart-brain interactions that may be occurring between a mother and her infant. Researchers showed that a mother’s brainwaves synchronize to that of her baby’s heartbeat. In this experiment, the baby was laying in the mother’s lap with a blanket placed in between mother and baby. The study’s authors noted that:
“This preliminary data elucidates the intriguing finding that the electromagnetic signals generated by the heart have the capacity to affect others around us. … It appears that when the mother placed her attention on the baby that she became more sensitive to the subtle electromagnetic signals generated by the infant’s heart.”
Just like a mother’s field affects the field of her baby, the thoughts, and state of mind are constantly creating an electromagnetic field which stretches beyond the borders of our body!
Conveniently, you can measure your own field yourself! One quick daily habit, which I’ve repeated every morning for the past four years, gives me a perfect way for me to keep my fingers on the pulse, pun intended, of the invisible energy seeping through my body with each pulsing beat of my heart. It is a measurement referred to as a heart rate variability or “HRV” analysis, and you can study up on it and all the ways I measure it (including the Oura ring and the NatureBeat app) below:
Interestingly, both the heart and the brain generate a powerful electromagnetic field, although the heart generates the largest electromagnetic field in the entire body. The electrical field measured in an ECG is about 60 times greater in amplitude than the brain waves recorded in an EEG. This powerful electromagnetic field can be detected and measured several feet away from a person’s body and also between two individuals in close proximity. Research from the HeartMath Institute proves that when people touch or are in proximity, a transference of the electromagnetic energy produced by the heart occurs.
Studies have even demonstrated that heart coherence, the term used to describe a high heart rate variability (HRV) can reduce the activity of the sympathetic nervous system (our fight-or-flight mechanism) while simultaneously increasing the activity of the relaxing parasympathetic nervous system and increasing the tone of the vagus nerve, which you may recall is the incredibly important major nerve that snakes from the brain to nearly every organ system with the body. As a result, stress hormones such as cortisol can be managed.
As you read this article, you'll realize how intimately intertwined these concepts are: stress affects emotions, emotions affect genetic expression, and genetic expression affects presence of absence of disease. Isn't it fascinating how you can actually quantify all of this from the comfort of your own home?
Should you decide to take things to the next level when it comes to quantifying or recording your own or others’ electrical field, you may want to look into “GDV” (gas discharge visualization) cameras, also known as Kirlian photography. In 1939, a Russian electrical engineer named Semyon Kirlian and his wife Valentina developed Kirlian photography after observing a patient in Krasnodar hospital who was receiving medical treatment from a high-frequency electrical generator. They noticed that when the electrodes were brought near the patient's skin, there was a glow similar to that of a neon discharge tube. Kirlian believed that images created by this photography could depict an energy field, or aura, that surrounded living things. Kirlian and his wife were convinced that their images showed a life force or energy field that reflected the physical and emotional states of their living subjects. And yes, you can actually purchase special cameras, called “Aura photography cameras“, that you can use to photograph the energy field around you, or any other person or object. Below is a video example of Kirlian photography:
“Healing Is Voltage” author Jerry Tennant describes how these thoughts, emotions and beliefs are analogous to being your body’s software – they are the programming that tells the hardware (your biology) what to do. In your body, the software is composed of the subconscious as well as the information that is received by your cells from your environment or your perception of your environment. All of this is now termed in complementary and alternative medicine as “Quantum Biology” and “Quantum Healing”.
I first became familiarized with the in's and out's of quantum biology when I read the fascinating book “The Quantum Doctor” by Dr. Amit Goswami, who also stars in the equally excellent film on quantum healing entitled “What The Bleep?” In the book, Dr. Goswami, along with wellness icon Deepak Chopra, explain how the vibration of invisible particles (atoms) that make up our bodies can have profound effects on our mental and physical well-being Newtonian mechanics merely recognize the role of chemical signals, such as hormones, growth factors, neurotransmitters, peptides or drugs and deny the role of the immaterial or unseen energy fields. However, the most recent research shows that energy and vibrational waves, operating through widely accepted quantum mechanics principles and influenced by beliefs and emotions, are just as effective in signaling protein movement as physical chemicals.
The quickest way to begin wrapping your head around this is with a thought experiment. Pause to take a look at yourself in a mirror. What do you see? You would probably answer that you see a human being, a single physical individual.
But take this further. Under this skin, there's a collection of tissue, muscle, bones, organs, blood. The truth is, when you see a single individual looking back at you, it's a misperception. Go deeper. What makes up those bones, those muscles, the blood? Cells. And what are cells composed of? Molecules? And then what? Atom particles. When you go inside the atom, at this level you find protons, neutrons, electrons.
And taken to the final extent, what are these particles made of? At this fundamental “quantum” level, the answer discovered is that there’s nothing physical at all.
It's energy vibration.
Looked at from this final perspective, what you see looking back at you in the mirror is the physical expression of energy, and those energy vibrations are influenced by thought patterns, emotions, beliefs, and everything else you read about in this article.
Quantum theory states that when the mind observes a set of circumstances or phenomena, it has an impact on the outcome. This is called “the observer effect”, and you can view it in the fascinating “double slit” experiment that demonstrates this effect in a laboratory setting.
In summary, if you try to observe a particle it will act like a particle; however, in the absence of observation, it tends to act more as a wave. In the same way, the impact the mind will have upon any physical or mental outcome will be determined by the state of mind of the observer.
Sadly, modern allopathic medical philosophies based only upon Newtonian mechanics merely recognize the role of chemical signals, such as hormones, growth factors, neurotransmitters, peptides or drugs as signals that can impact physical protein molecules and cause them to move – all while denying the role of any immaterial or unseen energy fields.
However, energy and vibrational waves, operating through widely accepted quantum mechanics principles (and influenced by beliefs and emotions), signal protein movement in the same way as physical chemicals. This means that modern medicine’s denial of the role of “energy” in the human body is now a blatantly unscientific principle. The fact is that physicists adopted quantum mechanics in 1925 as a proven science that explains the mechanics of how the universe operates. But the industries of modern medicine, health, fitness and nutrition are still trying to understand the mechanics of life using outdated Newtonian philosophies based upon beliefs that prevent them from recognizing the role of energy in life.
As you navigate this article, you’ll realize just how wrong and damaging those beliefs can be, and how the impact of love and positive emotions is real, biochemically measurable, and affects biological tissues, including every protein in the body, activating a cascade of neural and biochemical events that affect virtually every organ in your body.
A Story Of Emotions & Cancer
I first realized the power of emotions and stress to affect disease risk when I traveled to Israel for a tour of the country’s unique collection health spas, fitness centers, healing retreats, wellness facilities. In Northern Galilee, I visited the home of a former professional basketball player – Doron Sheffer.
Doron had been an amazing athlete. He was an achiever. A hard-charger. A professional person. As a guard for the dominant college basketball team UConn, he fed the ball to star teammates like Ray Allen and played for legendary coach Jim Calhoun. Sheffer averaged five assists and thirteen points per game, he hit 40 percent of his three-point attempts and he led the Uconn Huskies to a brilliant 89-13 record, along with NCAA tournament appearances in each of his three seasons. He then became the first Israeli ever drafted by the NBA when the Los Angeles Clippers selected him in the second round in 1996, but he instead signed a lucrative contract with the Israeli professional basketball team, Maccabi Tel Aviv – which he then led to four consecutive national championships.
But then Doron got testicular cancer. When I sat down with him in his backyard garden looking over the beautiful hills of Amirim, eating a meal of organic figs, goji berries and sweet local almonds, he described to me how the tremendous pressure, tension, difficulties, frustrations pent-up emotions and stress from the life of a hard-charging professional athlete eventually built up inside him and culminated in disease.
Indeed, scientists have actually discovered that emotional stress similar to what Doron experienced can be a trigger for the growth of tumors. As a matter of fact, any sort of trauma, emotional or physical stress, can act as a literal pathway between cancerous mutations, bringing them together in a potentially fatal combination. For example, at Yale University, scientists have now discovered that everyday emotional stress is a trigger for the growth of tumors. They discovered that any sort of trauma, emotional or physical, can act as a pathway for cancerous mutations. The findings show that the conditions for developing cancer can be significantly affected by your emotional environment, including every day work and family stress. In other words, your risk for developing cancer can be positively or negatively affected by your emotional environment, including everyday work, physical, emotional and relationship stress.
The traditional Chinese medical view of cancer etiology has long held emotions are a major contributing factor for cancer. namely emotions. For example, author Sun Binyan writes in his book “Cancer Treatment and Prevention”:
“According to our understanding of the tumor patient, most have suppression of the emotions. They tend to hold in their anger. Although some patients have good results after treatment, emotional stimulation may cause them to decline again and then the previous treatment would have been in vain. Some people have a severe phobia about cancer. Before they know the real disease, they have a lot of suspicions. Once they know they have cancer, their whole spirit breaks down. This kind of spiritual state is very bad for the treatment.”
In the book “Prevention and Treatment of Carcinoma in Traditional Chinese Medicine“, Jia Kun gives ten recommendations for cancer prevention. In addition to good environment and personal hygiene, proper amounts of physical activity and rest, good eating habits and healthy food, and avoiding smoking, he states that:
“Emotional changes, such as worry, fear, hesitation, anger, irritation, and nervousness should be prevented. Mental exhaustion is harmful and life should be enriched with entertainment.”
Chinese medicine authors Shi Lanling and Shi Peiquan also mention the etiology of various cancers in their book “Experience in Treating Carcinomas with Traditional Chinese Medicine”:
“The etiologic factors of the disease involve chiefly the disturbance of the seven emotions, especially melancholy, anxiety, and anger, which are liable to impair the spleen and the liver. Impaired by melancholy and anxiety, qi will be stagnated and the spleen will lose the function of transformation and transportation, leading to disturbance of water metabolism and the subsequent accumulation of phlegm-dampness, while, impaired by anger, the liver qi will be stagnated. The stagnated liver qi, as qi is the commander of blood, may give rise to blood stasis if not relieved in time. Thus, emotional disturbance, in-coordination between the ascending-descending movement of qi of the zangfu organs, sluggish flow of qi and blood, and the ensuing obstruction of dampness, phlegm, and blood stasis are the fundamental pathogenesis of the disease.”
In their section on treatment of breast cancer, the authors refer to a discussion in a Ming Dynasty text by the surgeon Chen Shigong (1555-1636 A.D.) that indicates that breast cancer “results from anxiety, emotional depression, and overthinking which impairs the liver, spleen, and heart and causes the obstruction of the channels.” This text is also mentioned in The Treatment of Cancer by Integrated Chinese-Western Medicine, and is translated as follows:
“Breast cancer is due to worry and melancholy. Lots of ideas hanging around make one feel dissatisfied. Perverse flow of liver qi to the spleen leads to the obstruction of the channels and collaterals and congelations due to excessive accumulation.”
In addition, the book “Cancer Treatment with Fu Zheng Pei Ben Principle” presents a section on etiology of cancer, and describes the following with regards to emotional disturbances:
“TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) embodies changes of spirit and sentiment as the seven emotions: pleasure, anger, grief, fear, yearning, sorrow, surprise, all of which are emotional, physiological reactions of an organism towards external changes in its environment. Emotional disturbance refers to reactions, either excessive (excitation) or insufficient (inhibition) which will ultimately lead to disturbances in the flowing of qi and blood and the visceral functions, with subsequent illness. TCM claims rage harms the liver, excessive stimulation harms the heart, grief harms the spleen, great sorrow harms the lungs, and fear harms the kidneys. Though not necessarily precise, this belief definitely points out that emotional injury will affect the physiological functions of the qi, blood, viscera, and channels, and lower the body resistance, resulting in disease. The human body is susceptible to cancer when under emotional stress or disturbance.”
Indeed, one major published study in China involving a significant population of approximately 750,000 individuals in Beijing attempted to determine if psycho-social factors contributed to the incidence of primary lung cancer. They reported three factors positively associated with the occurrence of lung cancer: 1) a burst of emotion that could not be controlled; 2) poor working circumstances, including poor relationship with coworkers; and 3) a depressive feeling for a long time.
Western research has gone on to support the idea that depression can impair immune system functions. For example, it has been shown that tumor-relevant lymphocyte subpopulations, also known as natural killer cells (NK cells, which can attack cancer cells), have receptors for various neuropeptide proteins, including those released during stress. This means that NK cell activity can be influenced by emotions. The level of NK cell activity has been shown in research to be a good predictor of breast cancer outcome, and a loss of NK activity in cancer patients has been shown to be correlated with psycho-social measures such as level of patient “adjustment” (avoiding showing distress at the cancer diagnosis/treatment – e.g. “internalizing” the stress), lack of social support, and symptoms of fatigue or depression.
Another recent report analyzed the findings of close to a hundred studies that demonstrate how the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), “fight and flight” portion of the nervous system can actually encourage metastasis when chronically elevated. During acute stress, the SNS becomes active. But soon as a stressful event has passed, the body returns back to homeostasis within about an hour. However, under chronic stress, the SNS is “turned on” virtually all the time, and in this chronically stressed state, adrenaline and noradrenaline can alter genetic expression via the same protein-folding mechanisms you’ve already discovered in this article. This genetic alteration can lead to a number of pro-cancer processes, including activation of inflammatory responses, inhibition of immune responses and programmed cancer cell death, reduction in the cytotoxic function of NK cells, inhibition of DNA repair, stimulation of cancer cell angiogenesis, and activation of “epithelial-mesenchymal transition,” which is one of the ways new cancer stem cells are created.
Now here’s the deal: I’m personally a very hard-charging guy focused on personal and professional excellence in everything I do. But I truly believe that unless you are able to relax, to breathe, to de-stress and to simply stop and smell the roses, you’re going to be the kind of person who eventually develops a chronic-stress related disease that forces your fast-forward life into slow-motion. So you have to put the brakes on before your body puts the brakes on and forces you to stop, perhaps with the flu, perhaps with back pain, or perhaps with cancer.
The ultimate question is: how can you do this? How can you slow down before your body forces you to slow down? How can you somehow dig yourself out of a hole of a constant barrage of emails, text messages, phone calls, over-exercising, eating to train and training to eat, going to bed late, 24-7 self-quantified biohacking, trying to “have everything”, getting up early and still somehow managing to squeeze in some semblance of quality in your friend and family relationships?
This is exactly what Doron figured out, and this man’s new approach to life, his answers, and his new aura of peace and calm spoke heavily to me. He defied conventional medicine and naturally healed his body of cancer, and his approach to life is now refreshing, relaxed and incredibly peaceful. When I visited Doron at his peaceful home and private health resort “Hyuli” in Amirim, in the mountains of Northern Israel, I was surrounded by a laid-back, de-stressed community of aromatherapists, massage therapists, herb gardens, spas, a health food shop, an organic olive oil shop, art galleries, restaurants and wellness bed and breakfasts. These mountains are where Doron slipped away from chronic stress, reinvigorated his body and underwent his own “spiritual cleanse” to win his battle against testicular cancer.
Now that you understand how your thoughts, stressors, emotions and beliefs affect your biology, it’s time to identify both the positive and the negative emotions and stressors that either allow you to use your body as your own pharmacy and heal yourself from the inside-out, or to think yourself into a state of illness and disease.
The Map Of Consciousness
Two years after meeting with Doron, I discovered the work of Dr. David Hawkins, author of “Healing & Recovery”. In his book, Dr. Hawkins describes how to identify protein-shifting and cellular membrane influencing emotions that are either helpful or deleterious, including practical ways permanently change negative emotions such as anger, shame and fear, along with how to shift into positive emotions such as peace, love and joy.
Like Dr. Bruce Lipton, Dr. Hawkins teaches that the body expresses and is subject to what is held in mind, and therefore, the greater the amount of negativity held in the mind, the greater the deleterious effect of this negative energy field on the biological well-being. In contrast, the greater the positive energy, the more positive the health outcomes. It turns out that each emotion, positive or negative, is associated with a specific vibratory frequency that can be measured. For example, at a frequency of about 540, the body can begin to “heal from the inside out” due to a release of endorphins within the brain (interestingly, these are the same neurochemicals that are also released by recreational drugs and narcotics, including the popular party drug Ecstasy – see sidebar).
Let’s take a closer look at how an emotion can actually create a specific vibratory frequency. If you’ve ever opened a physics book, you’ve probably seen a “wave”. One cycle of a wave is referred to as a frequency, and frequencies are measured in Hertz (Hz), or number of waves per second, which means one wave cycle in one second would be one Hz. A high frequency would involve lots of waves per second, while a low frequency would involve just a few cycles per second.
The height of a wave can also be measured, and is referred to as “voltage”: a wave can be high voltage or low voltage. In addition, the power of a wave is called “amperage”: waves can have plenty of power behind them (high amp waves), or little power behind them (low amp waves). In addition, a wave's vibration can be smooth or it can be angular, and a wave can have a regular pattern or it can have an irregular pattern. Ultimately the combination of the speed, height, power, smoothness and regularity of a wave are used to define the “vibration” of the wave. In other words, vibration is the resulting pattern of all the variables of a wave. As you can imagine, there are billions of combinations of these functions.
Here’s what’s important to understand: every object on the face of the planet, from the simplest molecule to a tiny mouse to an enormous elephant to your own body has its own unique vibrational fingerprint, a fingerprint created from the infinite combinations of vibrations. Some physical objects have lower and slower vibrations and some higher and faster vibrations. For example, the book “Molecules of Emotion” by Dr. Candace Pert, published by the HeartMath Institute, highlights how molds, viruses, bacteria and parasites vibrate at around 77 KHz (kilohertz), goldfish at 1000 KHz and a human at 1520 KHz. Later in this article, you’ll learn about a frequency health device called a NES scanner and this is exactly how a device like this works – it uses a lower voltage that is safe for humans and sends out frequencies that kill pathogens without interfering with or harming the human body.
In her book, Dr. Pert highlights how emotions have unique vibrations just like colors and physical objects do. These emotional vibrations also range from higher and faster to lower and slower. For example, when you are laughing and full of joy, your vibrations become higher and faster. When you are tired or sick, your vibrations slower and lower. Recall to the last time you fell in love. Did you feel energized and high, as though you were walking on a cloud? That’s because your entire body was literally vibrating at a higher frequency. This is also why when you’re negative, depressed or stressed, you can feel sluggish, slow, and heavy – your vibrations are lower and slower. This is all scientifically measurable, with much of the latest research performed and measured on “power spectrum graphs” by the HeartMath Institute, as well as by Kirlian photography. It is possible to take these pictures and measure the human body’s frequencies because – as you’ve already learned – human beings are comprised of electromagnetic energy.
The easiest way to see the effects of vibrations is to observe sand that is exposed to different frequencies, via a process called cymatics. When the sand is then observed, you can notice that lower vibrations create large, boring, and even unpleasant shapes. But as the vibrations rise in frequency, the shapes become more intricate, detailed and even more beautiful. In other words, higher vibrations produce more enjoyable effects. Here a couple fantastic video examples:
Dr. Masaru Emoto has conducted similar experiments on water to see the effects of the actual vibrations of our speech! By simply saying a word to water, he was able to show that positive words created water crystals of a higher vibration with an elaborate and beautiful structure, similar to the high vibrations of the sand in the cymatics experiments. In contrast, negative words created water crystals that were unstructured and chaotic. You can see the powerful images of the water experiments in the video below:
Using similar techniques, Dr. David Hawkins has actually measured the vibrational frequency of specific emotions, and, over 20 years of research, kinesiology and muscle testing, translated these frequencies into a logarithmic scale, along with 17 different levels of consciousness associated with each emotion in what he calls a “Map Of Consciousness”. In his book, he describes how stress proneness and vulnerability are directly related to our current state of emotional vibration. The highest attainable level of consciousness is enlightenment (at 1000). Moving from the 0 to the 1000 mark represents a shift in emotions from the lowest emotion of fear all the way up to the highest emotion of love. Here is how Hawkins describes the different levels of consciousness:
1) Shame – 1-20: Associated with humiliation, low self-esteem and paranoia. Someone at this level often feels worthless, and sometimes becomes a rigid or neurotic perfectionist or moral extremist. The life view at this state is misery.
2) Guilt – 30: Guilt is accompanied by feelings of blame and remorse, often accompanied by manipulative tendencies and a tendency to be condemning of self and others.
3) Apathy – 50: This is a state of helplessness and despair, along with neediness and dependency on others. Because this level of energy feels heavy and burdensome, many people avoid those vibrating at these levels, and some societies even tuck away or hide the poor and homeless who often live at this level. This level is also associated with hopelessness and abdication (giving up one’s power to others).
4) Grief – 75: Someone at the level of grief feels bleak about the world and life around them, and often have a life view of tragedy, accompanied by feelings of regret and sadness. But grief is still at a higher level than apathy, because you begin to feel more energy at this level.
5) Fear – 100: Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of uncertainty, fear of challenges, fear of aging, fear of death, fear of loss, fear of strangers and an overall sense that the world is scary and frightening produce anxiety and even paranoia at this level.
6) Desire – 125: Constant cravings for more money, a better life, enhanced romance and consumption of goods and pleasures are all at the level of desire. This can lead to a never-ending loop of consumption, but this level does at least produce more “action” than the fear level due to the desire to obtain more.
7) Anger – 150: Anger expresses itself as hate, resentment, frustration and revenge, often manifesting in irritable behavior, trolling and toxic conversations (especially on the internet), family arguments and aggression towards others. family members, and at the worst end of the spectrum, murder and war.
8) Pride – 175: Scorn and ego inflation dominate at this level, along with a demanding personality and arrogance.
9) Courage – 200: This level begins to become constructive rather than destructive, with a view of the world as exciting and full of possibility. Along with empowerment, one begins to actively grow at this level and recognize that their happiness lies in their hands if they are willing to take action.
10) Neutrality – 250: At this level, one becomes non-judgmental, objective, and able to begin to see things as they truly are, without excessive attachment to possessions and results, and an ability to be able to adapt to curveballs that life may throw. Occasionally, excessive detachment and carelessness can be issues at this level.
11) Willingness – 310: A high amount of optimism occurs here. At this level, you become more open to doing anything and everything it takes to succeed because life is full of hope and meaning. At this level, you begin to experience career success and skill attainment.
12) Acceptance – 350: At the level of acceptance, forgiveness and transcendence are dominant emotion, and one begins to become more harmonious with themselves and the rest of the world, able to identify limiting beliefs and become consciously aware of social constructs.
13) Reason – 400: The emotion here is understanding, rationality, logic and informed, patient decision-making, and occasional over-intellectualization with too much obsession over data – along with a view that life is significantly meaningful.
14) Love – 500: Separation, fear and negativity melt away at this level, replaced by pure happiness and goodwill towards others.
15) Joy – 540: The dominant emotions at this level are compassion, happiness, patience and a supremely positive attitude, along with inner serenity and a feeling of completeness.
16) Peace – 600: The dominant emotion at this level is bliss, illumination and a view that life is just absolutely perfect. Hawkins teaches that this level is only achieved by 1 out of 10 million people!
17) Enlightenment – 700-1000: The pinnacle of emotion of consciousness by mankind, often associated with enlightened people in history who have attained this level such as Krishna, Buddha, and Jesus. Here, the ultimate state of pure consciousness is achieved.
Like Lipton, Hawkins teaches that an illness tends to result from suppressed and repressed negative emotions associated with the lower levels of consciousness (especially those emotions associated with the lower levels of consciousness you’ve just read about), followed by a thought that gives that emotion a specific form. A thought has energy and form, and the mind with its thoughts and feelings controls the body. Therefore, to heal the body from the inside-out, thoughts and feelings need to be changed, because what is held in mind tends to express itself through the body, which is like a puppet controlled by the mind. Thoughts are caused by suppressed and repressed feelings, but when a feeling is let go, thousands or even millions of thoughts that were activated by that feeling disappear. You surrender a feeling by allowing it be there without condemning, judging, or resisting it. Instead, you simply look at it, observe it, and allow it to be felt without trying to modify it.
It’s important to understand that feelings are not the real self. Whereas feelings are programs that come and go, the real inner self always stays the same – therefore, it is necessary to stop identifying transient feelings as yourself. No matter what is going on in life, keep the steadfast intention to surrender negative feelings as they arise. Make a decision that freedom is more desirable than having a negative feeling, and choose to surrender negative feelings rather than express them, while also surrendering resistance to and skepticism about positive feelings.
In addition, especially when focused on fixing an illness or injury, or keeping one from happening in the first place, associate with people who are using the same or similar motivation and who have the intention to express these positive feelings and to heal. Be aware that your inner state is known and transmitted. The people around you will intuit what you are feeling and thinking, even if you don’t verbalize it (Dr. Lipton and the HeartMath Institute would express that these people are sensing your electromagnetic field).
In summary, to begin to heal your body with your mind, you must understand that you are only subject to what you hold in mind. You are only subject to a negative thought or belief if you consciously or unconsciously say that it applies to you. Just imagine the vast array of possibilities that exist once you being to implement these principles! If you think you are tired, you will become tired. If you think you are sick, you will become sick. If you think you are bold and courageous, you will become bold and courageous. If you think you are happy, you will become a more joyful person to be around. You get the idea. But we haven’t yet scratched the surface, because this article will finish with twelve practical methods to achieve a higher state of consciousness and to heal your body with your own internal pharmacy.
12 Practical & Proven Ways To Heal Your Body From The Inside-Out
You’ve now learned that the physical body is affected by your emotions, your thoughts direct how you feel, and your energy level and vibratory frequency can sway your mind and your thoughts. Let’s now get more specific on the details on the actual daily practices you can follow to maintain a higher state of frequency and consciousness and to attain constant levels of peace, love and joy.
Think of this like heavy lifting for your spirit: in the same way that we need physical labor to attain a strong physical foundation and cognitive stimulation to attain a strong mind, we need to develop our thoughts, patterns, emotions, and beliefs to develop a strong spirit.
You've already learned that sound frequencies and vibrations can affect the body in a profound manner, and when it comes to increasing your vibratory energy, nowhere is this more true than the power of music, including singing, chanting, listening to music and play music. My friend and composer Michael Tyrrell has actually arranged specific music tracks called “Wholetones” which are recorded at specific frequencies designed to elicit targeted emotions. In addition, I own and use a Lovetuner, which is a tiny single-tone flute that plays a tone at the frequency of 528 Hz frequency, which is specifically targeting the “heart chakra”. Many videos of these same 528 Hz frequencies can be found on YouTube, and iTunes also carries works by different artists that explore this harmonic.
While you’ll usually find me working out, driving my car, cleaning or walking while listening to podcasts or audiobooks, when I need to boost my mood to the next level and fill myself with positive emotions, I blast myself with Wholetones, energetic techno music, electronic dance tracks, Top 40 hits, and especially when my kids are around and ready for one of our pre-breakfast or post-dinner family dance parties, the “Disney” channel on Pandora.
#2. Qi Gong
Literally translated as “Life Energy Cultivation”, Qi Gong is a system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used in traditional Chinese culture to promote health, spirituality, and martial arts training. According to Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian philosophy, qigong allows access to higher realms of awareness and awakens your “true nature”. Qigong typically combines moving meditation, coordinating slow flowing movement, deep rhythmic breathing, and calm meditative state of mind.
My favorite Qi Gong master is previous podcast guest Robert Peng, who is quite good at distilling this ancient Chinese practice into a unique teaching practice that so simple even my 8-year-old twin boys were able to learn Qi Gong along with me over the course of Robert's eight-week program.
While many folks think acupuncture is something you seek out when you have achilles tendonitis, knee pain or some other musculoskeletal injury, it is actually not only effective in treating pain, but also in increasing the amount of what traditional Chinese practitioners refer to as life force energy (referred to as “qi”) flowing through specific meridians in the body. , which was a major part of early belief systems. The spiritual elements of acupuncture that often conflict with Western beliefs and modern medicine have been abandoned by many acupuncture therapists in favor of simply tapping needles into acupuncture points.
However, in traditional Chinese medicine, illness, disease and even imbalanced emotions are perceived as a disharmony or imbalance in qi, and therapy is based on which pattern of disharmony can be identified. My own personal acupuncturist who I see in Spokane, Washington works out of the office of a physical therapist in a modern medical clinic, but still practices traditional acupuncture, and examines things like the color and shape of my tongue, the strength my pulse, the quality of my breathing, the sound of the voice and (sorry, dude) even the smell of my breath.
So you don’t have to hop on a plane to Hong Kong to actually get acupuncture done right, even if you – like me – are seeking it out for emotional balance and to achieve a higher level of consciousness, rather than to simply fix an injury (though it works for that too). Incidentally, some studies suggest acupuncture causes a series of events within the central nervous system, including mechanical deformation of the skin by acupuncture needles that to results in the release of adenosine, and that via this method acupuncture may deactivate the “fight and flight” sympathetic nervous system. You’ve already learned about how stress affects emotions, and how this may bring you to a lower state of vibrational frequency, and so this may be a neurochemical method via which acupuncture is causing an electromagnetic change in your body.
#4. Electric Acupuncture
Earlier in this article, I mentioned a frequency-based health device that can be used to target specific aches, pains, health disorders and emotions. You can think of this machine, called an NES scanner, as something very much like a modern, electrical form of acupuncture. When I first began to use an NES scanner, I placed my right hand on a computer mouse-shaped object that arrived in the mail, which then mapped my body’s “energy field”. I then plugged the scanner into my computer and uploaded the results to my friend Wendy Myers, who is a functional diagnostic nutritionist (FDN) and a certified holistic health coach (CHHC). The scanner, called an “NES Scanner” is designed to read electrical signals produced by the body. You can click here to listen to my podcast with Wendy and learn more about the scanner.
The skin is an indicator of what’s going on underneath and actually has a magnetic quality to it. So wherever there is a blockage in the energy flow or some other problem, the skin in that area becomes more magnetic or “sticky”, which is then detected by the scanner. As you then stimulate that particular area with specific therapies like pulsed electromagnetic fields (using another handheld biofeedback device called the miHealth that accompanies the NES scanner), the body’s magnetic quality begins to change, indicating to the device when the body has responded and created its healing reaction. Another way of looking at this is that cells have an electrical potential. Sick, tired and malfunctioning cells have a low electrical potential and this is what surfaces as magnetic or sticky quality on the skin.
By putting energy back into the specific area at issue, this system can apparently then raise the electrical potential of those cells, restoring them over time to their normal, optimal functioning. This also stimulates the nervous system, sending a signal to the brain to direct resources to that particular part of the body as part of the natural healing response. The scan that I do with the NES scanner reads the electrical signal of my body and then uses the information to make a map of my entire body’s electrical field. This is all completed in a few seconds. Once the scan is completed, the software returns a graphical representation of any located distortions in the body’s information, as well as recommendations for therapy that then stimulate the body’s healing response and correct the noted distortions. While this may seem like a modern bastardization of traditional acupuncture, I consider it to be one of the more potent biohacks I own for not only identifying issues with my vibrational frequency and electromagnetic field, but then fixing those issues with a targeted medical device.
#5. Tapping or EFT:
Tapping, also known as “Emotional Freedom Technique”, or EFT, acts somewhat similar to acupuncture. As you’ve already learned, acupuncture achieves healing through stimulating the body’s meridians and energy flow. But surprisingly, you can also stimulate these meridian points by tapping on them with your fingertips – no needles or trip to the acupuncturist required. Tapping has been shown to provide relief from chronic pain, emotional problems, disorders, addictions, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic diseases. For example, research done at Harvard Medical School during the last decade found that the brain’s stress and fear response controlled by an almond-shaped part of your brain called the amygdala can be downregulated by stimulating the meridian points used in tapping. Although these studies focused on acupuncture and used needles, follow-up double-blind research revealed that stimulating the points through pressure (as is done with tapping) gives rise to a similar response. Other studies have shown tapping to reduce cortisol by up to 50%!
Although I’d highly recommend any of the books or videos from my friend Dr. Nick Ortner of “The Tapping Solution” website to thoroughly learn tapping, here’s how tapping works:
Identify a problem on which you want to focus. It can be general anxiety, or it can be a specific situation or issue which causes you to feel anxious. Then compose a “setup statement”, which should acknowledge the problem you want to deal with. You then follow this statement with an affirmation of deeply and completely accepting yourself.
“Even though I feel this anxiety, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m anxious about my interview, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m feeling this anxiety about this relationship, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m having trouble sleeping, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
Then you begin tapping 5-7 times, sequentially, on the outer edge of the hand, the eyebrows, the side of the eyes, under the eyes, under the nose, under the chin, under the collarbone, under the arm and on top of the head. You then finish with a deep breath to clear the “emotional dirt” away.
#6. Mindfulness Meditation
From holotropic breathwork to transcendental meditation to two hour long chanting sessions, I’ve toyed around with just about every form of meditation that exists (save for the notorious 10 day silent meditation retreat known as “Vipassana”, which is on the bucket list), and I can tell you without a doubt that mindfulness meditation couldn’t be simpler: you take a seat in a comfortable place, pay attention to your breath, and when your attention wanders, you return back to your breath.
Heck, even my boys – who are currently ten years old – perform a style of this meditation for fifteen to twenty minutes one to two times per week. Most often, they do it outdoors in a traditional Native American style “sit spot”, during which they mindfully observe with their eyes, ears, nose and mouth the world around them, or inside our sauna, during which they focus their attention on a candle or an hourglass, both of which are fantastic tools to keep the mind from excessively wandering during meditation. The steps for mindfulness meditation are simple:
-Take a seat on the floor, the ground, a chair, a meditation cushion, a park bench or anything else on which you can sit comfortably for five to forty-five minutes.
-Straighten your upper body so that your head and shoulders comfortably rest on top of your vertebrae.
-Let your hands drop onto the tops of your legs and lightly rest on the thighs.
-Drop your chin a little and let your gaze fall gently downward. It helps to gently rest the tongue against the roof of the mouth. Your eyes can be open or closed.
-If possible, breathe through your nose. Bring your attention to your breath and feel your breath (some say “follow” it) as it goes in and out.
-Most likely, your attention will leave your breath and wander to other places. Don’t worry. There’s no need to try hard to stop this from happening. When you notice your mind wandering, don’t judge yourself or think you’re “failing”. Instead, just gently return your attention to the breath.
-Before making any physical adjustments, such scratching an itch, pause for just a moment. Then, with intention, shift at a moment you choose. This will allow for space between what you experience and what you choose to do.
-When you’re ready, gently lift your gaze (if your eyes are closed, you can now open them). Take a relaxed, focused moment and notice any sounds in the environment, how your body feels, any thoughts and emotions you have. After you’ve paused, simply move on and continue on with your day.
That’s it. It’s that easy. One final note: I’ve found that “box breathing” is incredibly effective during this style of meditation (e.g. 4 count in, 4 count hold, 4 count out, 4 count hold).
In the book “Getting Well Again: A Step-by-Step Self-Help Guide to Overcoming Cancer for Patients and Their Families”, radiation oncologist Dr. Carl Simonton and his wife Stephanie, a trained psychologist, document how people can influence the disease process of cancer through healing their emotions. In their book, they provide example after example of how visualization prolongs life in cancer patients, improves the quality of life in cancer patients, and in some cases aids in cancer healing altogether. Research backs this up: a host of studies now exist on visualization research (often referred to as “guided imagery”) and improved mood and quality of life in cancer patients. But visualization and guided imagery don’t just work for chronic diseases. They can also serve as quick and nearly instant ways to transform yourself out of stress and to a higher level of energy vibration.
In summary, these techniques involve the systematic practice of creating a detailed mental image of an attractive or peaceful environment, often paired with physical relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, which involves tightening then relaxing every muscle in your body one-by-one. When the visualization is paired with physical relaxation techniques like this, the aim is to associate the sensations of relaxation with the peaceful visual image so that future practice sessions with visualization will quickly bring back to mind the physical sensations of relaxation. My collegiate tennis coach would often use this strategy with us young, nervous players: laying us all out on the floor of the tennis court as we would progressively relax our bodies while visualizing fluid serves and flawless groundstrokes. Later, during match play, we could achieve the same level of relaxation without stopping to lay down on the court and do the actual physical relaxation technique (which may possibly have annoyed our opponents, I would imagine).
Guided imagery techniques involve an element of distraction, and this serves to redirect your attention away from what is stressing your and towards an alternative focus – a peaceful, safe and relaxing environment that you imagine in your head. Of course, the beauty of visualization is that it’s extremely portable and relies on nothing more than your imagination and concentration. For example:
-Find a quiet and calm space and make yourself comfortable.
-Take a few slow and deep breaths to gather attention and calm yourself.
-Close your eyes.
-Imagine yourself in a beautiful place, where everything is as you would ideally like it, such as a beach, a mountaintop, a peaceful meadow or a forest.
-Imagine yourself becoming calm and relaxed – smiling and feeling full of joy.
-Focus on the sensory attributes in your scene to make it more vivid. For example, if you are imagining the beach, spend time imagining the warmth of the sun on your skin, the smell of the ocean, seaweed and salt spray, and the sound of the waves, wind and seagulls.
-Remain within your scene for five to ten minutes as you become more and more relaxed.
-While relaxed, tell yourself that you can return to this place whenever you want or need to relax.
Then open your eyes and rejoin the “real” world. There are guided visualization audios you can find for absolutely free on iTunes or YouTube (I often convert YouTube videos to audio using free, online converters). One of my favorites is called “Yoga Nidra”, which not only walks you through a guided imagery in a relaxing setting but can also bring you through an entire sleep cycle without you actually falling asleep!
Since its development by ancient sages in India, yoga has always been accepted as an integral practice for restoring and elevating the energetic frequency of the body. The formal system of yoga actually teaches that every element of matter in the cosmos (or “field” as Bruce Lipton calls it), is vibrant with life. Because of this, If your intention is to send as much positive energy as possible out into this field, it seems logical that one good place to start is by your body in a way that generates the type of energy you want to be sending. It turns out that research backs this up: when mindful, proper yoga is performed with focused breathwork in a formal meditative setting (in other words, not with goats and babies and not drenched with sweat while the heart rate screams through the roof from a hot yoga practice) there can be a significant shift into relaxed oscillating brainwave patterns and a downregulation of the sympathetic nervous system.
I personally spend about several minutes each day going through a few easy yoga flows borrowed from hatha yoga (one of the better forms of yoga for “dropping into” a meditative state), visit a yoga class or session or follow along with a yoga DVD a few times a month, and once or twice a year, attend more “intensive” yoga retreats for a deeper dive into this potent energy healing tool. Finally, more a more intense form of yoga that incorporates movement, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation, and the chanting of mantras, give Kundalini yoga a try. It is one of the more difficult but “energy vibrating” forms of yoga I’ve learned!
Incidentally, I’ve certainly been called out many times about the fact that I am a professing Christian who – despite having a strong belief in the power of prayer and the ability of God to spontaneously work miracles and heal – also embraces many of these so-called unconventional therapies that stem from non-Christian traditions. I actually tackle that entire touchy subject in this podcast with pastor Toby Sumpter entitled “Should Christians Do Yoga?”.
#9. Belief In A Higher Power
In his book “Unfinished: Believing Is Only The Beginning“, author Rich Stearns presents the concept that there are three choices you can make about the story of your life. Choice #1 is to believe that there is no story. On this, Rich says:
“We can choose to believe that there simply is no story or mystery to figure out and that everything we see and experience is totally random and without meaning. There is no truth. We are just a meaningless species on a meaningless planet in a meaningless universe. There is, therefore, no God and no real defining purpose to our lives. When I was in college, there was a popular bumper sticker that summed this up succinctly—“Life sucks, and then you die”—quite a noble motto to live by…kill your ego, because nothing you do will ever matter. That’s OK, though. It’s not just you. It’s all of us. It’s taken 100,000 years for our species to hump and grunt its way into momentary dominance on this pale blue dot, but nothing we’ve accomplished is all that outstanding when you consider that a Mall of America–sized asteroid is all it would take to turn humanity into the next thin layer of fossil fuels. Greatness is nothing but the surface tension on the spit bubble of human endeavor. On a geological timescale, our measurable effect on the planet is a greasy burp. We are 7 billion tiny flecks of talking meat stuck to an unremarkable mud ball hurtling through space in an unimaginably vast universe for no particular reason. There is no difference between kings and cripples, my friend. We’re all the same hodgepodge of primordial goo, and the pursuit of greatness is a fool’s errand. Pursue happiness instead. Find peace in your insignificance, and just let your anxiety go. Learn to savor the likely truth that the sum total of human achievement won’t even register in the grand scheme, so you might as well just enjoy whatever talents you have. Use them to make yourself and others happy, and set aside any desire to be great or outstanding.
What an inspiring philosophy to live by—we are just “7 billion tiny flecks of talking meat stuck to an unremarkable mud ball hurtling through space in an unimaginably vast universe for no particular reason.” Now, that makes me want to jump out of bed each morning to greet the day! People who believe Choice #1, that there is no story, often just ramble through life doing whatever feels good until the clock runs out. They have a mentality of “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” But because we don’t live in isolation, there are implications to Choice #1.
A person’s view of truth always has consequences. What happens when your actions and decisions come into conflict with mine? Since we are both just “tiny flecks of talking meat” spinning in the “same hodgepodge of primordial goo,” there is really no such thing as right or wrong, so the only mechanism to resolve our disputes is force or power; survival of the fittest. If you really believe that human beings are no more than flecks of meat, then taking a human life has no more significance than picking a mushroom or squashing an ant. One “fleck of meat” could form alliances with others to achieve their aims by overpowering another group of “meat flecks” with different goals. The group with the most power wins; right and wrong don’t even enter into the discussion.
Choice #1 leads to a world without truth, and a world without truth leads to chaos. So what are the consequences of all of this? One just needs to look at the bloody and brutal course of world history to see the answer. This worldview is essentially the worldview of someone who is an atheist—life is pretty much meaningless and there is no higher purpose to our lives.”
I don't know about you, but Choice #1 seems pretty depressing to me, and it's not the advice I give to my kids or the story by which I live my own life. Choice #2 is to make up your own story.
“People in this category are not necessarily selfish or egotistical. They can be quite pleasant and even admirable and inspiring. At their core they are quite practical: “I’m here. I have a life to live, so I am going to make some basic decisions about what I believe, how I will live, and what values will best guide me as I walk through life.” These are the “what’s right for you may not be right for me” people. They essentially invent their own truth but don’t require or expect that others will necessarily live by it. They often begin sentences with “I think that . . .” or “I believe that . . .” They fill in the blanks with their own homebrew.
Here are a few of the manufactured “truisms” that might undergird the worldviews of these folks:
• You should be able to do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t hurt other people.
• The one who dies with the most toys wins.
• Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.
• We can all find God in our inner self.
• It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and only the strong survive.
• I think that all religions are just different roads to the same truth.
• Everyone should have an equal opportunity to pursue his or her dreams.
Note that some of these truisms are quite appealing while others are quite awful. The thing that they have in common is that they are all made up and arbitrary. They may or may not be true. They are made to create meaning for people who don’t really believe there is such a thing as absolute truth.
To solve the great mystery of their lives, people who have chosen to make up their own stories do so to create the meaning and purpose that their lives lack. I believe this may also speak to something innate within us that compels us to seek truth and meaning. The fact that we long for it so universally suggests to me that there must be such a thing as a truth and meaning that satisfies that longing, just as there is such a thing as food that satisfies our experience of hunger. So who are these people who have chosen to make up their own stories about truth?
Actually, this “make up your own story” approach to life’s great mystery can produce both monsters and saints. They could be drug dealers or human traffickers as easily as they could be homemakers or schoolteachers. They might be NBA all-stars or Fortune 500 CEOs. Usually, they share the fairly universal human goal—happiness. It’s just that some pursue it through violence and crime and others through hard work and education. Some even find it in helping their fellow man and being generous.
People can live an entire lifetime pursuing happiness and fulfillment without really worrying about whether there is some deeper truth or bigger story that they might be a part of. They are the stars of their own movies, writing their own stories and making their own rules. For seventy or eighty years they move from one event to the next, like balls in a pinball machine, bouncing off bumpers with lights flashing and bells ringing all the way. They are busy racking up points and bonuses until the ball finally goes down the drain, the noises stop, and the lights go out. Game Over!”
For obvious reasons, I'm not a fan of Choice #2 either. And then there's the third option: to become part of a greater story.
“If you read a mystery novel, there is one thing you know for sure: someone wrote it; there was an author. The author creates the setting (the place where everything happens), the plot, and all of the characters in the story. The author gives each character unique traits and personalities and a role to play in the bigger story. And, perhaps the most significant aspect of this metaphor, every character is designed to play a key role. Let me underscore this one more time. If God is the Author of the big story and you are a character in that story, then it follows that the Author created you to play a key role in his story.
The Author created you to play a key role in his story. You have probably seen The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, and I hope you have read the books too. J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of those books, created an astonishing world called Middle Earth. It was a remarkable place filled with adventure and dragons and orcs and hobbits. It was a story of good versus evil, of kings and sorcerers, wizards and magic. And the characters in the book—Frodo, Arwen, Gandalf, Sam, and many others—were placed in the midst of a big story unfolding around them that went back into time for thousands of years. Tolkien had created each of them to play some role in his sprawling epic story.
And as we read about them, we realize that each of them struggled to make sense of the story and to understand just what his or her role should be. They couldn’t see the whole of the big story from the author’s point of view; they could only see the part that was in front of them with occasional glimpses of the broader narrative. But each of them had to puzzle out the role he or she was meant to play, based on the information that character had.
Well, doesn’t it make sense that our story has an author too—one who created the world and the universe we were born into, one who cast the vision for the expansive plot and story narrative that has unfolded over eons of time, one who began the story and also will bring it to its conclusion? Doesn’t it also follow that this same Author/Creator gave life to each and every character in his story—to you and to me—and that he created each one of us with unique gifts, talents, and personalities; and that he placed us within his story in both space and time?
I want to be frank in stating that all of this requires a significant leap of faith. Philosophers have been debating the existence of God for millennia, and I will not bring an end to that debate here. But again, I want to appeal to your common sense—something philosophers don’t always have in abundance. Doesn’t it make more sense to believe that our story has an Author than to believe that everything we see and experience is meaningless and without purpose?”
And that third option, the choice to believe that you are living out a pre-written, amazing, exciting, enchanting adventure and a magical story written for your life. To me, that’s a pretty dang good way to vibrate at a higher energy level!
There’s a reason that prayer and meditation often go hand-in-hand with a belief in a higher power in general. Along with morning spiritual reading, deep breathing and gratitude journaling I always say the following prayer before leaping into the day’s work:
“Father in heaven,
I surrender all to You.
Please turn me into the father and husband You would have for me to be,
Into a man who will fulfill Your great commission,
And remove from me all judgments of others.
Grant me Your heavenly wisdom,
Remove from me my worldly temptations,
Teach me how to listen to Your still, small voice in the silence,
And fill me with Your peace, love, and joy.
In the name of Jesus,
My family and I also pray with gratefulness over our meals, pray each day for each other and those who God has placed on our hearts to pray for, and – along with ensuring we never let the sun for down on any transgressions or anger in our lives (in other words: forgiveness) finish each day with prayer for a restful night sleep. This means that we literally live the entire day conversing with a higher power. It’s a very settling and peaceful way to live your life knowing that, pardon the slight cheesiness of this statement, the “Big Guy” is one your side.
#11. Gratitude Journaling
In the last comprehensive article I wrote on gratitude, you learn plenty about the power and science of gratitude. But in summary, when you introduce conscious, mindful gratitude into your day, positivity will begin to pour into your life – along with all the other scientifically proven physical, mental and spiritual benefits of gratitude, and a greater amount of empathy and charity, two other personal attributes that allow you to achieve a higher state of consciousness. When you introduce conscious, mindful gratitude into your day, positivity will begin to pour into your life.
Daily gratitude has been proven by science to make you healthier and happier. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people. Grateful people are more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to live longer. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Research confirms that gratitude increases happiness and reduces depression, and writing in a gratitude journal has been shown to both strengthen the immune system and help you sleep better and longer.
So I start off each day by opening my gratitude journal and answering three easy questions I developed to enhance the power of gratitude even more than simply “thinking of something you’re thankful for” (although there’s nothing wrong with that approach too). These questions are specifically designed to enhance my spiritual life, relationships, physical health and mind:
1. What am I grateful for today?
2. What truth did I discover in today’s reading?
3. Who can I pray for, help or serve today?
So many journaling practices are focused on selfish pursuits: accomplishing egotistical goals, completing checklists or dwelling on yourself only. But instead, by reading something spiritual or devotional, then gratitude journaling each day, you’ll discover new spiritual truths, unlock the power of gratitude and change not just your own life, but the lives of others. That’s it: simply do your day’s reading, jot a note about the truth that you’ve discovered, write down one thing you are grateful for, and think of one person you can pray for, help, or serve that day (In full disclosure, I have written a Christian Gratitude Journal that systematizes and walks you through this entire process with zero guesswork, in a beautiful little hardcover journal that I’ll have to admit I’m pretty dang proud of.).
I’m actually going to end this article with my final most potent tip for increasing your energy vibration, and the vibration of all people around you, and it is this: identify your purpose in life and enable yourself to achieve that purpose. Allow me to share with you my purpose in life, which I’ve memorized and clearly defined…
…to empower people to live an adventurous, joyful and fulfilling life.
See, when it comes to being happy and living a long time, it’s not your 48th ayahuasca trip, relentless pursuit of a six-pack abs, a better WOD time, finally discovering the perfect diet, polyamory and open relationships or any other recent infatuation of the health, wellness and longevity movement. All flesh and blood is like a plant that eventually dies: just look around. The fastest athlete in track will eventually be defeated by muscle loss, neural degradation and arthritis. The most beautiful supermodel in the world will not be on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue when she’s ninety-seven years old. Even wealthy, powerful CEOs get betrayed by their bodies and die.
What is actually contributing most to your energy vibrations at any given moment isn’t your beauty or your fitness or your accomplishments – but rather your soul. Your spirit. Your Ki. I even have a tattoo on my shoulder that I emblazoned it onto my skin when I was just 20 years old. It’s the Japanese Kanji symbol for Ki: which you now know as chi, soul, spirit, chakra, prana, and the invisible life force that flows through all of us. Caring for this all-encompassing energy of my body is how I live my life. See, true and lasting happiness is not achieved by external circumstances, not your thoughts, not your intentions, not even your feelings, but your inner soul. In his book “Soul Keeping”, author John Ortberg defines the soul as that aspect of your whole being that correlates, integrates, and enlivens everything else. He writes that we all have two worlds: an outer world that is visible and public and obvious, and an inner world that may be chaotic and dark.or may be gloriously beautiful. In the end, the outer world fades, and all you are left with then is your inner world.
But ironically, the more obsessed we are with ourselves, our fitness, our cognitive performance, our finances and our food, the more we tend to neglect our souls. When your soul is not centered and right, you tend to define yourself by your accomplishments, your physical appearance, your title, or your social circles and friends. But then, when you lose these, you can tend lose your identity. I’ve experienced this myself when I’ve gotten injured, sick, or had a poor race, and subsequently felt like I was losing my happiness and transitioning to a lower level of energy vibration because I was losing my “athlete identity”.
Perhaps this is why one of my favorite Bible verses goes like this: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”
So how do you connect with and care for your soul? I’ll tell you how. You must ask yourself: What is the core part of you that you want folks to talk about at your funeral? In other words, what is your purpose? If you’re not clear on this, ask some people who know you well to describe why they think God put you on earth and what your unique skills and talents are that seem to naturally flow from you. Ask them what should be written on your gravestone. Ask them what they think your purpose is. I’ll hazard a guess that it’s not that you were the best exerciser, or followed an amazing, flawless diet, or had gorgeous skin or made oodles of money.
But it’s not enough to simply identify your purpose. To truly connect with and care for your soul, you must connect with your inner self, and ask yourself this one question…
…what aspect of my life can I change today that will allow me to care for my soul so that I can identify and achieve that purpose?
Maybe it’s a meditation practice. Maybe it’s stepping into a church. Maybe it’s mending a torn relationship. Maybe it’s stopping to breathe. Maybe it’s dropping a relentless pursuit of a better body and brain and instead realizing that you’ve been horribly skewed and that to truly achieve deep, meaningful satisfaction in life you must begin to care for the most important part of you that will exist for eternity and begin to share that discovery with the rest of the world by living your entire life based on your core purpose. No matter what it is that must change, you’ll find that you must often radically change your environment and change your habits. This might mean staying in bed an extra ten minutes to gratitude journal, ditching the evening Netflix show to hang out instead with the family, or taking a weekend rest day to go and volunteer at the homeless shelter rather than going on a two-hour bike ride or doing back-to-back workouts.
So let me ask you this: what is your purpose? And how alive is your soul so that you can identify and fuel that purpose?
Now, take a deep breath in through your nose, and out through your mouth. Feel your spirit. Feel your soul. Feel it? It’s there: it may be shriveled up and dry and neglected but it’s there, ready for you to grow and nurture it. Take one more deep breath in through your nose, then smile and breathe out. You are an amazing soul. You are here for a purpose.
Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for me about what you've just read? Leave your comments below and I will reply!
In the meantime, you’ve learned that your emotions, thoughts and beliefs can affect humans, animals and even things we all-too-often consider to be “inanimate”, such as water and plants. This week, choose one day for which you are going to think silently, whisper or speak aloud to someone these three words “I love you”. Just pay attention to what happens to your own physical expression and the attitude of those around you.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how significant something as simple as a few positive words can have on your own electromagnetic field and the field of those around you.